1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars-veteran Huston steals the show right from under Bogie!
Warners 2003 release in a 2 disc format of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is certain to please the fans of this now legendary film.Released in Jan/48 it managed to get three Academy Awards,two for John Huston as director and screenwriter and one for his father Walter Huston.Huston in the twilight of his career manages to steal the show many times over and his...
Published on April 18 2010 by Robert Badgley
3.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING DRAMA, WONDERFUL TRANSFER!
"The Treasure of Sierra Madre" is a story of greed, deception, murder and adventure - and that's just for starters. It stars Humphrey Bogart as Fred Dobbs, a reprobate who eschews the work ethic at every turn for a handout or the prospect of getting rich quick. Naturally, a prospect from an old codger, Howard (Walter Huston) - that Dobbs and another greed driven...
Published on Sept. 30 2003 by Nix Pix
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars-veteran Huston steals the show right from under Bogie!,
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This review is from: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
Warners 2003 release in a 2 disc format of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is certain to please the fans of this now legendary film.Released in Jan/48 it managed to get three Academy Awards,two for John Huston as director and screenwriter and one for his father Walter Huston.Huston in the twilight of his career manages to steal the show many times over and his performance tops even that of the name star in this picture,Bogie.Not to take away too much from Bogie,it is an all around solid cast with Tim Holt as the third amigo in this tale of deceit,lust and redemption.
The story starts with a down and out Fred Dobbs(Bogie)stuck interminably in Tampico,Mexico.Having arrived years before working for big corporations exploiting the riches of the land he is now out of work and broke,living from hand to fist.He hits up the same man three times without realizing it as he never looks up(director Huston in a dapper white suit and panama hat).Getting enough money for a bed in a flop house he meets Bob Curtin(Holt) and an old prospector Howard(Huston).Howard talks up a storm about his prospecting days around the world while Curtin and Dobbs listen in.He claims the Sierra Madre Mountains contain a dearth of gold and wishes he could go after it.After a night of contemplation Dobbs talks Curtin into the idea of actually trying to hunt for gold and they approach Howard.Howard says it's alright with him but they're still a little short of money.Just then a small boy(cameo by Robert Blake) comes by to tell him he has won on the ticket he bought a few days before.With the money now in hand the three head into the mountains.
After days of trekking and climbing they reach an area that Howard says should be fine for mining.They set up their equipment,build a sluice and soon thereafter are finding what they came to seek.Dobbs slowly but surely,day after day,becomes paranoid about his partners and their intentions towards his gold.Even after Curtin saves Dobbs after a mine collapse,it still doesn't convince him of their good intentions.Several spats result and Dobbs becomes more and more withdrawn.The paranoia is set aside however when an unwelcome fourth man enters the picture asking into the operation.Before the three can carry out their decision to kill him bandidos arrive to steal from them.It's a shoot out to the death until the Federalis arrive and chase the bandidos away.The Bandidos inadvertently took care of the fourth man as he is found dead as a result of the shoot out.
At this point some local Indians approach the camp asking for some assistance for a sick young boy,close to death.Howard goes off with them,brings the boy back to consciousness,and returns to the group.More bickering ensues amongst the partners,much of it pressed by Dobbs,whose paranoia is now slowly rearing its' ugly head again after a brief respite.Just as the three decide to leave the area the Indians again show up wanting Howard to return to the village as an honoured guest.He does so and Dobbs and Curtin head back to await for Howard's return.Along the way Dobbs' paranoia hits a peak and he "kills" his partner.When he goes back to bury him in the morning the body is gone.He assumes he was eaten by a mounatin lion,but in reality Curtin dragged himself off to a nearby Indian village where he gets medical attention and Howard and he are reunited.He relates his sordid tale to Howard and they decide to leave and find Dobbs to reclaim their share of gold.Dobbs in the meantime has had a tough slug of it coming down the mountain and has lost one mule out of the team already.He is desperate and out of water when he finds a watering hole.As he and his team of burros quench their thirsts the bandidos from earlier happen upon him.There is no where for him to run or hide and he is killed.They steal his burros and pelts to sell but dump the gold thinking it was a red herring and just sand.When they attempt to sell their merchandise in town they are caught and the Federalis finally catch them.They are executed just as Howard and Curtin arrive.The townspeople saved the pelts for Howard and Curtin but the men inquire as to where the more important stuff is.A small boy overheard the bandidos say they dumped it in an abandoned village just outside of town.A strong wind storm is coming up and by the time they arrive all they find are empty bags.All Howard can do is laugh at the irony of it all,as do the Indians who accompanied them and finally Curtin.Curtin and Howard part with Howard going back with the Indians to live out his life and Curtin returning to the States.
Wonderfully acted throughout this film is certainly a classic of its' kind and still holds up well even today.Bogie gives a good performance in paranoia and an off state of mind while Huston gives a great turn as an eccentric and grizzled old prospector who has seemingly seen and done it all but still is nobodies fool.Tim Holt as Curtin is the one in the middle,the apparent more sane and grounded of the two,who has to deal constantly with both men's idiosyncrasies;like a constantly moving pendulum.The Academy awards were certainly well deserved.The novel by Travens from which this came from to my recollection was terribly socialistic.That is it came at the story from an exploitative angle of big foreign business interests that stripped the Mexicans of their well deserved resources and hired labour from all over the world cheap in order to reap big profits.To convert that into the movie took a considerable talent and Huston showed he was certainly up to the task.A shining hour in the Huston cannon.
Technically this two disc set has been transferred well.The blurb on the cover tells us this film was restored visually and audially and was newly transferred.Well generally the picture is good and quite clear and crisp,but there are many instances of scratch lines and wear throughout which should have been removed and weren't.I think it's about time that a new remastering be done on this film to bring it up to snuff.However being 2 discs there are plenty of extras.There are featurettes on the movies' making and Huston's career,commentary,a vintage newsreel,two cartoons a funny Joe McDoakes comedy short,galleries,the /49 Lux radio version of the movie and a trailer for Key Largo.
In conclusion you won't want to miss the now iconic performance from Bogie as the down and out Fred Dobbs and you cannot miss Walter Huston's Academy Award performance as the old prospector,a scene stealing turn all the way.A classic that belongs on everyone's shelf.
5.0 out of 5 stars John Huston's Masterpiece,
This review is from: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
A brilliant film that combines solid entertainment with powerful character studies. It is a film that never ceases to interest even though it runs for over two hours. A master work that placed John Huston as one of the great directors in film history.
Humphrey Bogart arguably gives the best performance of his career. The transformation of his character, from a man who is a generous and loyal friend, to a man driven to evil through uncontrolled greed is fascinating. How Bogart did not win a best actor Academy Award, let alone not even get a nomination, is simply incomprehensible. It is such occurrences that makes one realize that the Academy Awards do not necessarily reflect the best performances, but just the winner of the flavour of the month popularity contest.
Walter Huston, however, did get recognition for his fabulous performance, deservedly winning the best supporting actor award. His performance oozes charisma, and this performance is really the blood of the film that makes everything else work.
Finally, Tim Holt gives the performance of his career. Even though he was a top box office draw in the 1940's and early 1950's due to the popularity of his B-Western films, it is this film that will give him posterity in film history. His performance in this film is solid, showing that he had an acting range and charisma that wasn't fully exploited during his film career, but of course is naturally over shadowed by the incredible performances of Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston. Nevertheless, one cannot understand why Tim Holt did not have a more prominent film career after this film, since he comes across as a film actor with great potential.
The film is very cynical about human nature. Ultimately, there are no heroes in this film. Even the Walter Huston and Tim Holt characters were at one point in the film prepared to commit cold blooded murder to protect their interests, except with the exception of the native Indians, who are portrayed as simple but hard working people who live without materialistic pretensions. This follows the philosophy of the mysterious author of the book the film is based on, B. Traven, who wrote anti-capitalist and left-wing books critical of the inhumanity and greed of capitalism of the time the book was written, which was approximately in the mid-1920.
A thoroughly entertaining and interesting film that won't disappoint.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see classic movie with Bogie,
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a classic movie that has to be watched by movie fans. Set in Mexico in 1926, the movie tells the story of two down and out Americans who have nothing to their name except their meager salaries. The two men, Dobbs and Curtin, decide to team up with a weathered, old prospector, Howard, to go prospecting for gold in the mountains of southern Mexico. Soon enough, the trio happens upon a mountain just full of gold waiting to be found. What follows is a condmenation of human greed and want of unlimited wealth and riches. The three men become suspicious of each other immediately, thinking that the other two might steal their share of the gold. At the same time, the three must deal with bandits who will stop at nothing to get their possessions. The ending does provide for a brief message of hope. Everything from the cinematography to the acting to the writing is great in this movie. Movie fans everywhere should see this classic movie.
Humphrey Bogart gives an excellent performance as Fred C. Dobbs, a wayward American who believes that the power of gold would never make him change his ways and beliefs. Watching Dobbs morph into a money hungry, paranoid man is frightening. Walter Huston, father of director John Huston, plays Howard, the grizzled old prospector who is the only calm one in the group. Tim Holt stars as Bob Curtin, Dobbs' partner and the moral leader of the trio. The movie also stars Bruce Bennett, Barton MacLane, Alfonso Bedoya, and Manuel Donde. Also look for a brief appearance from John Huston as a well-to-do American who gives Dobbs some money for a meal. The 2-Disc Special Edition offers a ton of great extras. If you're a fan of this classic movie, you will love these extras. For a classic movie, ranked #30 in the AFI Top 100, with great performances, an excellent script, and beautiful scenery, check out The Treasure of the Sierra Madre!
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the two greatest films ever made about pure greed,
Along with the great Erich von Stroheim classic GREED (which tragically exists only in a greatly abridged version, and which was based on the haunting Frank Norris novel MCTEAGUE), this is the most powerful movie ever made on the destructive power of greed.
THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE is rightfully considered one of the greatest American films, and is also yet another in a string of first-rate collaborations between John Huston and Humphrey Bogart. Although Bogart made many superb films in the forties and fifties, a disproportionate number were with Huston, including the film that made him a star, THE MALTESE FALCON, and the film that garnered Bogie his only Oscar, THE AFRICAN QUEEN.
The cast consists primarily of three drifters who want to hit it rich in Mexico. Bogart plays Fred C. Dobbs, in one of the greatest roles of his career. The character of Bob Curtin is played by Tim Holt, a "B" actor (in the quite literal sense of having acted in scores of "B" pictures) who nonetheless managed to get parts in some exceptionally great films, notably this one, THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, and MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, as well as a small role in STAGECOACH (he plays the cavalry commander who rides a short distance with the stagecoach before departing). Both Bogart and Holt are excellent, but the film is more or less stolen by the great Walter Huston, John's father, in the last great role in a long and distinguished career as the veteran prospector Howard.
The film was based on a very great novel by the same title by one of the most reclusive authors in the history of literature. During his lifetime, the identify of B. Traven was unknown. If you find dust jackets for printings of his novels from the forties and fifties and sixties, the biographical details are something out of science fiction. Some even claimed that he was Jack London, living in Mexico after having faked his own death! Eventually, investigators went to Mexico after his death and searched exhaustively for the secrets to his identity. He turned out to be an ex-patriot German (not a surprise, since his books were always published in Germany before the United States) named Rex Marut. When John Huston went down to Mexico to film THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE, he attempted to arrange a meeting with B. Traven, but was informed that he was to meet with Traven's representative Hal Croves instead. There is a wonderful photograph that exists of John Huston and "Hal Groves" talking. As he talked with Croves, Huston began to suspect that he was in fact B. Traven himself, though he was unable to voice his suspicion. Years later, it was confirmed to Huston that Hal Groves was yet another alias for Ret Marut a.k.a. B. Traven. Given this fascinating story, it would have been wonder if they could have included as one of the extras for the DVD set the 60-minute documentary THE MAN WHO WAS B. TRAVEN. The extras are good, but this would have been a wonderful addition.
Filming THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE in 1948 was a fascinating choice by John Huston. In 1947, when they were filming, a sharp shift to the political right was clearly discernable. Whereas Hollywood in the 1930s had been largely leftist, in the late forties it was unquestionably right wing. Among directors especially, there were virtually no exceptions, though two prominent directors persisted in their leftist beliefs: one was the great Billy Wilder and the other was John Huston. B. Traven himself was a liberal anarchist populist (it is widely thought he was self-exiled in Mexico because of previous political activity), and the book, as does the movie, is an attack on the materialist values driving Western civilization. Not many directors would have had the courage in 1947 (it was released in January 1948) to make a movie about the evils of greed, but Huston was one who did. Likewise, Bogart was one of the more politically liberal actors in Hollywood, and was unafraid of being in a movie with the message that this one contained.
The film is highly unusual in having been filmed primarily on location in Mexico, unlike most Hollywood films, which would merely film in some southern California location. This imparts a look to the film that sets it apart fromAlso unlike most Hollywood films, Huston actually employed Hispanic actors in Hispanic roles. This allowed one veteran Mexican character actor, Alfonso Bedoya, to deliver one of the most famous lines in the history of the movies, when he tells Fred C. Dobbs, "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"
5.0 out of 5 stars A BONA-FIDE CLASSIC STORY OF GREED AND BETRAYAL !,
Here you have a trully great package: a top director (John Huston) and a top star (Bogart) with an great screenplay, music (by Max Steiner), great photography (by Ted McCord) and a top cast. The story revolves around a group of stray losers (stranded in a mexican town) who decide to join forces and go after the (gold) riches of the wild, lawless mexican lands. They are greedy Dobbs (Bogart), honest Curtin (Tim Holt) and wise old Howard (Walter Huston). But the gold fortune they gain from the mountain soon transforms their views and relationships as Dobbs quickly falls into paranoia.
This is a trully classic film which deserved a trully great DVD edition... and this is it!! A two-disc edition with everything you can dream of... A great documentary (The Story of TTOTSM) with Martin Scorsese (lots of and others), another documentary about John Huston, two great Bugs Bunny films (one is a funny spoof of this film), A Lux Radio Theater broadcast, a vast gallery of photos and publicity material, a dozen Bogart trailers, one short film, a newsreel... everything you need to reproduce a classic night at the movies back in 1948!!!!!!
Obviously, the film in this edition has flawless sound and image... and along with this incredible tray of extras, this is surely the DVD edition to buy.
It seems that Warner Home Video is commited to release deffinitive editions of some of its classics (Thanks, WHV!!). I bought this DVD in a box that contains also Yankee Doodle Dandy and The Adventures of Robin Hood (two other two-disc editions who got this first rate treatment).
A great buy for an affordable price! Check for the 3 film box containing The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Yankee Dodle Dandy and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
John Huston appears briefly (and repeatedly) as the american in a white suit who gives Bogart a coin - surely, the greatest director-cameo I've ever seen in an american classic film.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogart's greatest performance,
This review is from: Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Import] (VHS Tape)
Treasure of Sierra Madre features Humphrey Bogart at his very best. As down and out Fred Dobbs, he spends his days hitting up others for money, (Hey mister, can you stake a fellow American to a meal?) He is so fixated on the money in the people's hands, that he doesn't even see their faces. He hits up the same man in the same suit three different times for meal money.
Eventually, he hears an old grizzled prospector (Walter Huston)talk about the riches available to them in the mountains in the form of gold. The old man had a desire to go back if he could find a couple of younger men who would like to go. Along with Tim Holt, Bogart and the older man head for the hills in search of wealth.
Even before they get there, the old man has warned the younger men about the dangers of finding a lot of gold. Their hearts will turn greedy and wicked, he said. Bogart says that once he got a few thousand dollars worth, that would be enough for him. The beauty of the film is the simple irony of that statement. Bogart's transformation into the obsessive, gold loving man he becomes is amazing. He can trust no one, even the two men he is partnered with.
During their time in the hills, they encounter several memorable characters who are all trying to either kill them, steal their gold, or both. At least that's the way Dobbs looks at them. Most notable is the bandito Alfonso Bedoya who does not say "We don't need no stinkin badges", rather "I don't have to show you any stinkin badges". This, like Casablanca's "Play it again, Sam" is one of the most missed quotes in movie history.
The ending of the film is both logical and tragic. In the end, all we can say is that Bogart's character is one of the most interesting character studies we have witnessed on film. We are left to ask if something like that could really happen to us. Could we become this focused on something and forsake all that is so important to us? According to this film, it's very possible.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have DVD,
Since I have already reviewed this, one of America's greatest cinematic masterpieces, I will urge any and all to purchase this excellent packaging and presentation of John Huston's finest fictional hour (his war-time documentaries are his truest masterpieces).
Besides containing a pristine and vibrant transfer which makes the gorgeous silver, rainy-grey, cloud-white and jet black cinematography vibrate with rich detail, Warner Brothers has outdone themselves and bookended this classic film with a treasure trove of fantastic extras.
While the commentary by author Eric Lax is only so-so, the documentaries are brilliant and illumanitive- especially the biographical feature which alone makes this package a must have. Featuring interviews with the avuncular Huston himself as well has film clips and wonderful insights from his family and co-workers, this superb documentary celebrates one of Hollywood's true characters. Huston was a type of figure never to be seen again.
The behind the scenes documentary about the dramatic story behind the making of the film, narrated by John Milius (I would have appreciated his commentary more!)proves almost as entertaining as the feature itself. Short Subjects, Cartoons and trailers as well as a fascinating radio broadcast from 1949 featuring Bogie and Walter Huston rounds out the extras which make this a most certain must have DVD for all film fans.
Money well spent!
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab this one while you can,
Movie lovers have waited many years for the kind of presentation offered in this outstanding reissue. Some may consider the feature story a cynical depiction of warped Western values. However, it does give a very sympathetic portrait of the Mexican people whereas they have often been depicted in cinema as uncivilized beasts. As depicted by B. Traven we learn of the honesty of the young mexican lottery ticket seller even after he had been verbally and physically humiliated by Fred C. Dobbs, we learn of their satisfactory dispensation of justice to three Mexican thieves and murderers, and we learn of their reverence for knowledge. Secondly, the film shows an early example of environmental responsibility when the old man insists on "repairing" the mountain after the trio have mined it. Thirdly, Mr Bogart gives one of his most devastating over the top performances as a truly nasty character who gets a thoroughly deserved come-uppance when clubbed to death. The film could be viewed as the allegory of the three archetypal characters - the good, the bad, and the innocent, or the three sides to every man. And there is an undoubtedly great cinematic moment at the conclusion when the old man(the good) and the young man(the innocent) laugh almost to the point of pain at the fact the gold dust has been swept up by the wind and "returned to the mountain" where it belongs. Humanity, love, and civilisation prevail in the end. The print quality is excellent. But in addition to this the program may be viewed as one would see it when released - a contemporary newsreel, trailer for another film, a cartoon precede the "main feature". The real "gold" in the extras though, is a feature length documentary on the director John Huston, narrated by Robert Mitchum and featuring Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman and others. The clips from some of Mr Huston's war documentaries, especially those associated with the US army landing in Italy must be some of the best war footage ever captured on film but remained classified by the US Army until 1980.
The discussion on courage, as understood by Mr Huston, is astonishing and memorable. A remarkable documentary filled with many film clips including Mr Huston's private collection. To me, this edition represents astonishing value for any film lover.
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure hunt in mexican desert,
By A Customer
Timeless tale of greed and desire, as three down-and- out men track down elusive golden wealth.
The movie is set up extremely well, as we learn about the men and their lot in life, well before they set out on their dangerous quest.
The parallels of greed resound today, with the corporate scandals and such. The riches that tempt men's souls can destroy the weak. Management techniques of the trio are on display as well, as they face challenges in the bleak wilderness.
The movie really holds up well under 21st century scrutiny. Every scene has meaning and their are many, running sub-plots and themes that remain true to themselves as they interweave,leave and then return throughout the movie. Keep your eye on the young Robert Blake, he had a small but amusing role in the beginning.
There are not many movies that have as much to offer, scene after scene, as this one does. Those who speak spanish will enjoy some of the un-translated dialogue between various locals, it is not spoon fed with accented english as so many movies do today. Great stuff!!
5.0 out of 5 stars AFI top 100/ WB Classic now on digitally remastered DVD set!,
The American Film Institute's (AFI)1998 Top 100 American Movies in the first 100 years placed "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" at #30. This 1947 western classic was one of Warner Brothers (WB) Studios many Classic movies produced in the 1930's &40's. (ie, Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy to name a few). The WB had a stable of Stars like; Bogart, Cagney, Flynn, Bergman, Barrymore, Rains, Bacall, Greenstreet, Lorre & De Haviland to name a few which produced an abundance of classics in short order.
Well for the first time WB has meticulously digitally remastered their classics of old under the DVD "Two Disc Special Edition" Series. These DVD's are outstanding and the Feature Film is worth the price of admission alone, but Warner Brothers has provided us a 2 DVD set with everything for us to escape to 1947 Hollywood and relive the movie theatre experience. DISC 1 - Provides us with a "Night at the Movies" (circa 1947) This is pure genius (hats off to the WB) and the viewer experiences a complete show (so get the popcorn ready, this is fun stuff!!!!) To begin Leonard Maltin gives us an introduction to this 1947 show followed by coming attractions, a newsreel, a cartoon, a short subject film and then the Feature film all back to back just like the movies. AWESOME. Also on Disc 1 are 12 Humphrey Bogart film trailers. Thats just the first disc!!! DISC 2 - Has a 2 hour documentary on the life of Director John Huston (2 Oscar's, Direction & Screen Play for "The Treasure of Sierra Madre"), Documentary on "Discovering the Treasure of.....", Classic Bugs Bunny Cartoon, Storyboards, Cast & Crew, Publicity Materials Gallery and a 1949 Radio broadcast starring Bogart & Walter Huston (Oscar winner for best supporting in Treasure (also John Hustons father)).
Warner Brothers did a fabulous job digitally transferring (the picture & sound are perfect)this Full Screen Black & White feature to DVD and there's more classic movies to come. I can't wait. This a must have for your home theatre experience. Enjoy.
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Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The by John Huston (DVD - 2010)
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